Political Bits and Pieces

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: April 12, 2014 3:55 AM
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Florida has a favorite son in 2016, according to a “Florida Insider” poll released by the Tampa Bay Times on Friday, with 74 percent of the politicos saying former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., will run for the Republican presidential nomination but only 33 percent of them expecting U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to enter the contest. Few of the insiders expect Rubio to run if the former governor is in the hunt, with 86 percent saying the senator stays out if Bush is in. ...

If Bush does run in 2016, a poll released this week from Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling (PPP) finds him competitive in North Carolina which should be a swing state next time out. Bush takes 44 percent when matched up against former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the front-runner on the Democratic side, who takes 45 percent. Bush comes closer than any other Republican to beating Clinton in the poll. ... Matched with other Republicans, Bush takes second place. Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., leads the Republican pack in North Carolina with 22 percent followed by Bush with 18 percent. Rubio takes eighth place with 5 percent. ... Bush doesn’t do as well in a PPP poll of Michigan where he loses to Clinton by 11 percent. Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., comes closest to beating her in the Great Lakes State but Clinton still leads by 9 percent. ... The PPP looked at the Republican primary in Michigan and found U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., with 16 percent followed by Huckabee and Christie with 15 percent each. Bush takes fifth with 9 percent and Rubio is in eighth with 4 percent. ...

Going back to the “Insiders Poll," the politicos are much more divided on the gubernatorial race, with 51 percent thinking Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wins a second term in November while 49 percent expect former Gov. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., to be the first Democrat to win a gubernatorial election since then-Gov. Lawton Chiles, D-Fla., beat Bush in 1994. ... Scott continues to use his new Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera on the campaign trail. On Friday, Lopez-Cantera was in Sweetwater, focusing on senior issues at the Victoria Senior Center. ... Former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich turned up the heat on Scott and Crist as she tries to gain ground in the Democratic primary. Rich hit Scott for turning down federal funds to expand Medicaid, but she also shone a light on Crist’s jabs at President Barack Obama for launching his federal health-care law. When the law was signed, Rich pointed to a Crist tweet in which the then-governor insisted Obama “ignored the will of the people and passed a partisan, government-run health-care bill.” At the time, Crist was a Republican. Since endorsing Obama and joining the Democrats in 2012, Crist has expressed support for the health-care law. ...
First Coast Democrat Dave Smith, a teacher and environmental activist, is making yet another bid for the Florida House. He filed this week to run against Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach. ... Adkins isn’t the only Republican in the Florida House who drew a new challenger this week. Democrat Tony Munnings filed to run against Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Sebring. ... Down in South Florida, Rep. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah, also drew a Democratic opponent. Benjamin De Yurre filed on Monday to challenge Diaz. ...

On Thursday, the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee voted 21-12 on a party-line votes to hold Lois Lerner, who was an an official with the IRS, in contempt due to her lack of answers on why the IRS was targeting conservative groups. Freshman U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., was front and center on Thursday, voting to hold Lerner in contempt and taking to the national airwaves to weigh in on the issue, appearing on Neil Cavuto’s show on Fox News. ... In Tampa on Saturday, U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., will help open the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital PolyTrauma and Rehabilitation Center. Ross will take part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the center on Saturday afternoon. ... U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., was front and center for Democrats in recent days on a number of fronts. A member of the House Budget Committee, Castor took to the House floor this week to go after the budget proposal from U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Castor also won some national attention for hosting a same-sex marriage ceremony in her Washington office at the end of last week.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com. 

Comments (1)

fixing elections
7:32AM APR 12TH 2014

Nearly 35 Million voters , or around 30%, in the November, 2004 Election, voted on Touch Screens, also referred to as DRE’s and 68 million used Optical Scanners.(Paper ballots, including absentee ballots scanned and tabulated by electronic machine.) The main difference in these two technologies being... Optically scanned ballots can be re-scanned or recounted if necessary. Digital (Touch Screen) votes just disappear, making a recount all but impossible. Digital votes are cast and counted in the electronic software of the system. The 1970’s saw the debut of the touch screen voting machine; however the first states to use widespread Touch Screen voting were Florida, Maryland and Georgia.

All Maryland Touch Screens have been on a “lockdown” since the November. 2004 election due to statewide failures, including 12% of the machines in Montgomery County, some of which seem to have lost votes in significant numbers.

DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) voting machines came onto the scene in the 1990’s, but at a $3000 price tag, they lacked affordability. Then along came HAVA. And $3.86 billion Federal matching dollars.

In Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, and New Mexico, complaints came in from voters who were selecting Kerry on the Touch Screens and saw their votes change to Bush on the Summary Screen.

Florida had some interesting Optical Scan results as well: Calhoun County has 82% of the voters registered Democrats yet 63% of the County voted for Bush; Lafayette County - where 83% of the voters are registered Democrats and 74% of the County voted for Bush; Liberty County, again - 88% Democrats. 64% voted Bush; and Washington County, voters are 67% Democrat, yet voted 71% for Bush. All four Counties’ votes were Optically Scanned by Diebold. There were 25 other Optically Scanned Counties that also swung towards the President despite Democratic majorities

In 11 Florida Optically Scanned counties, Bush won between 50% to 100% more votes than had been anticipated. Kathy Dopp conducted a county by county examination of voting patterns in Florida that was double checked by Zogby analysts who concluded that Bush received 16% more votes than he should have in the Optical Scan counties. No wonder it’s Ohio’s new favorite choice for voting equipment statewide.

In New Mexico, President Bush carried every precinct where votes were counted with electronic Optical Scanners. Just this past January (2005) Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell (and former Bush/Cheney Campaign Co-Chair) declared that the entire Buckeye state will be voting Optical Scan only. And Diebold only, keeping it all in the home state.[IN 2007 DIEBOLD CHANGED THEIR VOTE FIXER SCHEMES COMPANY NAME]

“Maryland voters will never know for sure whether their election choices last year were recorded correctly--- and the same uncertainty could haunt them next year if lawmakers again fail to address a serious defect in the touch-screen machines used throughout the state.”-- Washington Post , March 22, 2005

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